Kath and I have joined forces to bring you an exciting 1 month challenge!  As you know, I’m a HUGE fan of the 10-minute strength routine in the morning.  It PROVES that you don’t need loads of spare time to get in a great, effective workout.


We challenge you to join us in the C&K 10 Minute Strength Routine Challenge.  C&K stands for Caitlin and Kath, of course!  All you need to participate is YOURSELF and 10 spare moments


Additionally, because I know that many of us have knee issues, you can choose to do challenging moves such as squats and lunges OR more knee-friendly moves. My Knee Strengthening moves are explained in a video at the end of the post (which include a rather humorous  cameo by Maggie and James).  Plus, the video includes a bonus Knee Strengthening move!


In summary, the C&K 1o Minute Strength Routine Challenge consists of:


Circuit 1:

  • Push-ups – 2 sets of 10
  • Squats – 2 sets of 10 OR Knee Strengthening Move 1 (3 sets of 12 reps in total)


Circuit 2:

  • Bicycle crunches – 2 sets of 25
  • Reverse crunches – 2 sets of 10
  • Lunges – 2 sets of 10 per leg OR Knee Strengthening Move 2 (3 sets of 12 reps in total)


Circuit 3:

  • Chair dips – 2 sets of 20
  • Wall Squat – 10 squats held for 10 seconds each


The Finale!

  • Hold a plank as long as possible!


Here are pictures to illustrate what the moves entail.  Remember that the repetitions suggested below are just guidelines — you may do less or more depending on your own fitness level. 


Circuit 1:

Push-ups – 2 sets of 10

push up
Squats – 2 sets of 10 OR Knee Strengthening Move 1 (3 sets of 12 reps in total)


knee 1

Circuit 2:

Bicycle crunches – 2 sets of 25

Reverse crunches – 2 sets of 10 (Lie on the floor and place hands on the floor or behind the head.  Bring legs up so they are 90 degrees from the floor.  Make a small contraction with your abs to lift your feet straight up to the ceiling and lower.  This movement is very small!)

reverse crunch
Lunges – 2 sets of 10 per leg OR Knee Strengthening Move 2 (3 sets of 12 reps in total)

knee 2

Circuit 3:

Chair dips – 2 sets of 20

Wall Squat – 10 squats held for 10 seconds each

wall squat

The Finale!

Hold a plank as long as possible!


And here’s my explanation of the Knee Strengthening moves, plus an quick test to see if you have weak inner thigh muscles!

Will you join us in the challenge?! 🙂



  • Sam July 3, 2009, 3:59 am

    I'm definitely in. I've been talking about starting work on strength moves lately, so this is perfect. Haven't watched the video yet because I'm at work, but the pictures look really helpful. Can't wait!

  • Aimee July 3, 2009, 4:13 am

    Love this!! I'm so in.

  • EmLit July 3, 2009, 4:26 am

    What a great idea! I am always slacking on my strength training so I am definitely in for this challenge–I think it will be a great way to get into a strength training groove 🙂

  • Lauren July 3, 2009, 4:31 am

    This is great! Count me in.

    You guys look totally hot rocking these moves. 🙂

  • Marisa (Trim The Fat) July 3, 2009, 4:51 am

    Yes!!! I love it! I've been looking for a strenght routine and this one is perfect! Thanks so much 🙂

  • keri July 3, 2009, 5:04 am

    I'm in! These are definitely moves I can do before work, or after a run – and I definitely need to step up my strength training before my half marathon this fall! Thanks for the challenge 🙂

  • Sarah (Running To Slow Things Down) July 3, 2009, 5:09 am

    I'm in! I'm always looking for great strength training moves… 🙂

  • Faith C. July 3, 2009, 5:19 am

    I'm in – I definitely could use this!

    Cutest guest appearances ever, btw.

  • Greta July 3, 2009, 5:28 am

    This is great! I am definitely taking this challenge head-on. Thank you for the moves and the motivation 🙂

  • Thinspired July 3, 2009, 5:31 am

    I definitely need to do these! My knees and innter thighs are really weak and my running has suffered as a result.
    Great video..love the end with the doggies!

  • Heather July 3, 2009, 5:34 am

    I'm in! These are all things my trainer has me do during my workout so I'm sure he won't complain if I'm getting a little extra in in the morning. Y'all did an awesome job!

  • Michelle July 3, 2009, 5:51 am

    I'm in!! Love the video, the pups are so cute!

  • leslie July 3, 2009, 5:52 am

    this is great! you ladies are so motivating. 🙂 btw, you look gorgeous in those photos!

  • Courtney July 3, 2009, 6:03 am

    I'm definitely in! I've had a few slack months, and this past week I've really noticed and decided to get back on the wagon! I went to my first ever spin class yesterday, and it was GREAT! This looks like a nice little addition to my existing workouts!

  • runnerskitchen July 3, 2009, 6:08 am

    sounds good! i've been realizing that it doesn't take hours of gym time to stay in shape. sometimes all i have time for is lunges, push-ups, and core work. a little is better than nothing 🙂

  • emily July 3, 2009, 6:12 am

    I'm in!

  • Kristie Lynn July 3, 2009, 6:17 am

    Count me in! I love challenges… and this one is definitely not too ambitious to handle!

  • haya July 3, 2009, 6:24 am

    i'm in. i have been slacking on strength training since winter ended.

  • Christina July 3, 2009, 6:31 am

    Yay, I love this challenge! I've been needing a new routine for a while now and I have an injured knee so this is perfect!

  • Christina July 3, 2009, 6:33 am

    Awesome! I'm totally in for this 🙂

  • Oh She Glows July 3, 2009, 6:46 am

    cool!! Can I include this in my SGBC? 🙂

  • crmaha12 July 3, 2009, 7:10 am

    I've been reading your blog on google reader for a month or so but decided to actually comment today..

    I'm definitely going to do this!! It looks like a great strength workout!

  • Sara July 3, 2009, 7:12 am

    Great idea! I'm in.

  • Sammie July 3, 2009, 7:14 am

    That is a great video. I love the ending with your cutie-pie puppies.

  • andrea. July 3, 2009, 7:22 am

    Love this! Is the idea to do it every day?

  • Tia July 3, 2009, 7:24 am

    I think this is just what I have been looking for. I am trying to keep achilles and hamstring pain at bay and strength training is probably the answer. Challenge here I come.

  • Bec July 3, 2009, 7:29 am

    OMG I am so excited I am doing this in 2.4 seconds lol! Thanks for the knee moves squats hate my knees for somereason… or it may be the other way around!

  • Emily July 3, 2009, 7:30 am

    I love the moves! And I loved how the dogs just had to be in the viedo! lol

  • Gina G July 3, 2009, 7:38 am

    caitlin you never stop do you?! hah you are honestly such a blessing to everyone! you build women up not only mentally (operation beautiful) but physically now as well! thankyou for everything! =D

    from a 17 year old girl,

  • BOBBI McCORMICK July 3, 2009, 7:44 am

    this is great! I already doing Jillian's, "making the cut" challenge so I will have to pass but I think this is wonderful!

  • Nicci July 3, 2009, 7:47 am

    I already did my morning workout, but this will definitley be my afternoon workout!I usually only have less than 20 min in the morning before work! Thanks Caitlin and Kath!

  • Mel @ She Runs Brooklyn July 3, 2009, 7:54 am

    Hey Cailtin!

    I've been reading your blog since it was see bride run, and I just watched your knee strengthening video. It is the first time I've heard your voice and I pictured you sounding so differently!! Isn't that hilarious? Reading blogs is almost like reading a book– you just imagine all of the details around the author.

    Now I have a more accurate sound to match to the narrations everyday!

    And of course– awesome tips. My knees suck also and your video is helpful 🙂

  • Sarah July 3, 2009, 7:55 am

    sounds like a great challenge! i might just close my office door and do it now. 🙂

  • elliebelle July 3, 2009, 8:05 am

    Great tips, and loved the puppies at the end of the video! 🙂

  • Priyanka loves food July 3, 2009, 8:08 am

    I posted this on Kath's post and I repeat,I love this challenge! I am totally in!

  • catiechurch July 3, 2009, 8:10 am

    I'm in! I do most of this stuff every other day with Jillian's 30 day shred but I don't do them all.

  • Angharad July 3, 2009, 8:11 am

    I am in! I need to try and incorporate this cos I'm a sucker for thinking my strength training needs to be done at a class or at the Y. This is so do-able as well but all great moves – I love it!

  • just me July 3, 2009, 8:26 am

    totally in…since i hate hate hate ST.

  • Casey @ Double Scooped July 3, 2009, 8:43 am

    Woo hoooo! Anything that takes 10 minutes and is good for me – I'm in.

    I've been struggling to exercise in the morning before work – I prefer a light exercise in the AM and an all-out workout in the afternoon.

  • Graze With Me July 3, 2009, 8:45 am

    I'm in!

  • Susan July 3, 2009, 8:49 am

    LOVE IT!!! I used to do a heavy weight lifting program that had me in the weight room throwing dumbbells around three times a week. But now that it's summer, I'm outside doing a lot of cardio activity, and I'm losing some of my beloved muscle mass! Count me in, this would be so easy to do first thing in the morning, or tacked on before a bike or run. Great work you two! 🙂

  • Jenny July 3, 2009, 8:54 am

    i definitely would love to start this challenge!! do you do it everyday?!

  • RickyRae July 3, 2009, 9:04 am

    Love it!! 10 minutes is no time at all and the plank is killer!!! 🙂

  • Janie July 3, 2009, 9:22 am

    I'm in! I've been reading about your ten minute morning routines for a while now and I am so excited to join you guys in this challenge! Loved the video too:)

  • Holly Noelle @ Domestic Dork July 3, 2009, 9:24 am

    This is great! I have been wanting to do the 100 puch-ups/200 squats/200 sit ups program but my 5K training has been so time consuming that I just haven't had it in me to do long strength training sessions too. 10 minutes I can TOTALLY do.

  • Tracy July 3, 2009, 9:35 am

    I already did it today! I am sweating now…

  • mayapamela525 July 3, 2009, 10:14 am

    I am TOTALLY joining in on this plan! I want to buid up strength without bulky muscles, so thanks for the challenge, and for the explanatory photos!


  • heyitstay July 3, 2009, 10:33 am

    Awesome Caitlin, I love it!! I'm so joining in on this one. I'm nannying all summer, so while the girls are napping, I just sit on my booty all day! This will be perfect to get me off the couch and get my blood pumpin when I'm watching TV!

    Also thank you so much for those knee strengthening exercises. Squats hurt my knee, and those are exactly what I'm looking for 🙂

    You guys are awesome!

  • HangryPants July 3, 2009, 10:34 am

    Perfect timing for me, the laziest strength person ever.

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point July 3, 2009, 11:39 am

    hey guys – you can do this every day OR every other day. I usually do some variation of strength training 5 / 7 days a week. just do what works for yoU!

    mel – hahah everyone says that about my voice!!!

    gina – thank you!

  • Natalie M. July 3, 2009, 12:50 pm

    I think this would totally be great to add to my workout routine. I've been trying to keep up with Bobbi's sit up and push up challenge and this would be just as beneficial. The video was great and the appearance by Maggie was adorable! 🙂

  • TinaGirl July 3, 2009, 1:20 pm

    When I was doing Women with Weights my trainer called those inner theigh excersises "Husband crunchers". I thought you would like that. I'll have to do this since it's 100degrees out side and I really don't want to run. Thanks for posting it all.

  • Sarah July 3, 2009, 1:24 pm

    Thanks so much for "illustrating" the moves! It makes it a lot easier to know what I'm trying to do 🙂

  • Lindsay July 3, 2009, 1:42 pm

    I just did this workout after a 2 mile run and I'm sweating! It's the perfect length for after a run or in the morning when you wake up. It was much more intense than I expected. Good to know you can get a great sweat in without equipment and in just 10 minutes.

    Thanks Caitlin and Kath!

  • jesslikesithot July 3, 2009, 2:24 pm

    Yea, definitely participating! It's great that you girls are leaving pictures for us too, since it can be tough to know how to do each move correctly, without any visual help! 🙂

  • joie July 3, 2009, 2:43 pm

    Love this routine! I never had a set routine laid out before, but I just did this start to finish and loved it. Thanks!!

  • Anonymous July 3, 2009, 7:44 pm

    Most def not. I never want my thighs to jiggle like yours

  • Ruby July 4, 2009, 3:18 am

    Awesome idea! Thanks ever so much for this! And what a ridiculous comment above me, really, some people really suck.

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point July 4, 2009, 5:00 am

    anon – those are strong quad muscles that have carried me through two half marathons,three 15ks, two 10ks, three 5ks, and a 60-mile bike race "jiggling." i think your perception of reality is warped!

  • Stephanie P July 4, 2009, 4:16 pm

    In response to the above post (and hopefully not coming off creepy) I was thinking the entire time how fabulous your legs look!!!

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point July 4, 2009, 8:16 pm

    step – thanks 🙂

  • EatRunLitigate July 4, 2009, 10:46 pm

    First, I would definitely agree that your thighs are great! I'd love for my legs to look like that.

    I kept marking this as unread in my Google Reader and finally did it for the first time tonight. I regularly lift weight and do at least 4-5 hours of cardio a week and this KICKED MY BUTT. I was sweating way more than I expected, so, basically, I love love love it! Thanks so much for doing this.

  • Lisette July 6, 2009, 8:16 am

    I've been doing these exercises at the gym! EXCELLENT! I've honestly noticed a big change in my strength!

  • Jess July 6, 2009, 1:55 pm

    Cute video Caitlin…I'm going to try those knee strengthening moves for sure!

  • ksvobod July 6, 2009, 8:07 pm

    Hi Caitlin!
    I tried the C&K 10 Minute Challenge this evening… short, sweet and super effective! Nothing better than burning almost 100 calories in 10 mintues! Love it!

  • Kristin P. July 8, 2009, 6:58 am

    You have the cutest dogs! I just love them! I def need to incorporate some new strength moves. I do the same things all the time and stop seeing results.

  • seesaraheat July 8, 2009, 8:59 am

    Love it! I'm definitely going to have to add this to my routine 😉

  • eatme_delicious July 14, 2009, 7:02 am

    Thanks so much for posting this! I just tried it this morning and my legs/arms feel like jello now. Mind you I never do strength training so that would be why.

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